(Alex Chilton - RIP)
I'm sure like everyone, when I heard the news last night that Alex Chilton was gone, I was in shock. I was happy that Big Star had finally gotten the recognition that had eluded them for so long and I was excited that they were scheduled to play SXSW this weekend in Austin. But know now that it isn't going to happen leaves a sad hole and a lot of thoughts about what Alex had achieved during his comparatively short stay.
And that's why I chose a song of his from an earlier time, the one that's stayed with me these 40+ years.
I admit to not being a fan of The Box Tops when they first came out. Their early hits like "The Letter" and "Cry Like A Baby" didn't really do much for me. It just wasn't what I was into at the time.
But then they released Neon Rainbow and it completely changed my mind. There was something about that song that stuck with me and always reminded me of certain places and certain times.
There is a ton of great Big Star material I could play and no doubt a lot of blogs are playing those tracks right now. But for me, the passing of a legend who went far too soon brings up memories of the first time I heard something that turned my head around. Neon Rainbow is a deceptively simple song - no big riffs or potent lyrics. It's just a good song done well by a great musician. And sometimes that's all you can ask for.
Thank you Alex - it's all been worth it.